Just when you thought you could not be surprised by Trump along comes Bolton’s book

White House tried to block publication of The Room Where It Happened, but the book has been leaked to media outlets

Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton has made a series of explosive claims about the US president in his new book The Room Where It Happened, according to numerous news reports and an excerpt.

By Max Benwell

Most notably, Bolton claims Trump asked China to use its economic power to help him in the 2020 election, and tried to kill criminal investigations as “favors” for dictators he liked.

Trump was willing to halt criminal investigations as ‘favor’ to dictators, Bolton (right) says in his book

The explosive allegations came after a White House lawsuit sought to block the publication of Bolton’s book. But ahead of its scheduled release next week it has now been leaked to the New York Times and Washington Post, which reported on some of the stunning claims. An excerpt also appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Here are eight of the most shocking revelations:

1. Trump pleaded with China to help win the 2020 election

According to the excerpt of Bolton’s book published by the Wall Street Journal, Trump asked China to use its economic power to help him win a second election.

In one instance, Trump and President Xi Jinping were discussing hostility to China in the US. “Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming US presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win,” Bolton writes.

“He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump’s exact words, but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise.”

2. Trump suggested he was open to serving more than two terms

In another eye-opening exchange published in the Wall Street Journal, Trump also seems to support Xi’s idea of eliminating presidential term limits. “Xi said he wanted to work with Trump for six more years, and Trump replied that people were saying that the two-term constitutional limit on presidents should be repealed for him,” Bolton writes. “Xi said the US had too many elections, because he didn’t want to switch away from Trump, who nodded approvingly.”

3. Trump offered favors to dictators

Bolton’s book reportedly details cases where Trump tried to kill criminal investigations as favors to dictators. One incident published in the Washington Post includes a 2018 discussion with the Turkish president, Recep Erdoğan. Bolton says Erdoğan gave Trump a memo claiming that a Turkish firm under investigation in the US was innocent. “Trump then told Erdoğan he would take care of things, explaining that the southern district prosecutors were not his people, but were Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people.”

4. Trump praised Xi for China’s internment camps

According to Bolton, Trump was also approving when Xi defended China’s internment of Uighur Muslims in detention camps. “According to our interpreter,” Bolton writes, “Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do.”

According to leaked Communist party documents published in November, at least 1 million Uighur Muslims are detained in the camps.

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5. Trump defended Saudi Arabia to distract from a story about Ivanka

Trump made headlines in November 2018 when he released a bizarre statement defending the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. It included lines such as “The world is a very dangerous place!” and “maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

According to Bolton’s book, making headlines was the point. A story about his daughter Ivanka using her personal email for government business was also in the news at the time. After waging war on Hilary Clinton during the 2016 campaign for doing the same thing, Trump needed a distraction.

“This will divert from Ivanka,” Trump reportedly said. “If I read the statement in person, that will take over the Ivanka thing.”

6. Trump’s top staff mocked him behind his back

From what has been reported, it sounds like Bolton’s book provides one of the clearest insights into the despair of Trump’s top officials behind the scenes.

In one example given by the New York Times, Bolton claims he received a note from the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, after Trump’s 2018 meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, simply saying, “He is so full of shit.” On top of this, Pompeo also allegedly said a month later that Trump’s diplomatic efforts with North Korea had “zero probability of success”.

7. Trump thought Finland was part of Russia

Bolton’s book reportedly details some giant holes in Trump’s knowledge. In one instance, Bolton says Trump didn’t seem to know basic knowledge about the UK, asking its former prime minister Theresa May: “Oh, are you a nuclear power?”. On top of this, he also alleges that Trump once asked if Finland was part of Russia, and repeatedly mixed up the current and former presidents of Afghanistan.

8. Trump thought it would be ‘cool’ to invade Venezuela

According to the Washington Post, Bolton claims Trump said invading Venezuela would be “cool”, and that the country was “really part of the United States”.

First published at The Guardian – Thursday 18 June 2020. See; https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/17/john-bolton-book-trump-china-dictators-saudi-arabia

4 thoughts on “Just when you thought you could not be surprised by Trump along comes Bolton’s book

  1. Unfortunately, the revelations in this book, as reported, won’t bring the bloke down. For want of decorum and brevity, Trump is a phenomenon.

    When our nation had finally and fulsomely woken up to PM Howard being anything but the carefully cultivated image of “Honest John” the mild suburban solicitor here to make you feel relaxed and comfortable, and hatred for him seethed from coast to coast, he was voted back in – with an increased majority. And he took the senate. It was only that unfettered power brought on a rare ‘political’ misstep [when will political strategising be stripped of its praise?] through the shoving into the voter’s hands the edict entitled ‘Workchoices’ that he was removed.

    Unfortunately to mind, too, Biden isn’t the charismatic alternative for whom voters can be favourably moved. Too much baggage, and for my reading a hollow personage and something of a poseur. Regardless of current polls and trends, that aint the solution, I’m afraid.

    Where relevations such as in Bolton’s book do count for Trump, of course, is after he’s trundled out of the White House (in the back of a military Humvee?) and the courts of law swing open their doors.

    If America can be regarded as an empire, I think it’s fair to say that one word, one name, will in the future mark its proven decline, though the rot had long ago begun.

    1. Total agreement, PedestalFan. The American empire has been in decline for many years, that process being overseen by “leaders” such as Ray-gun, Nixon, and The Bushes – Seenya and Joonya, but the incumbent dickhead Trumps the lot of them.
      If I were an American, I’d move to Anywhere and employ a speech coach to delete my accent.

  2. Two things make me sad, with respect to this article.
    The first is that very few thinking people will be surprised by the revelations.
    The second is that millions of Americans will see nothing wrong in this madman’s behaviour.

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